By Ann Smarty published January 12, 2016

6 Tools to Help Turn Trends Into Valuable Content

tools-trends-content-cover

Evergreen content is a staple of a solid content strategy. While it pays off in the long term, it isn’t always ideal for traffic boosts. You want the occasional piece that draws people in droves, and that takes a different content tactic.

Covering relevant timely and newsworthy content is a great way to grow your site audience and take advantage of trends that get people more interested and thus more engaged.

Trending content is anything new and hot that has the Internet buzzing. Many successful websites will do a 60-40 split between evergreen and trending content to take advantage of both methods. (The proper split depends on the nature of your website, niche, etc.) Having both will bring in new readers and keep them coming back.

But how do you find out what is new and trending? Using these helpful sources, that’s how:

Monitor related subreddits

Reddit has grown over the years to become a social hub for every topic imaginable. While it is highly controversial at times (such as discriminatory subreddits and potential hoaxes), it is an incredible collection of hot topics you may not have even known had captured the eye of the Internet community.

There is a reason that aggregation blogs like BuzzFeed have a tendency to snatch content from Reddit – whole posts that do nothing but repost comments made in hot threads. Even huge news outlets like CNN have started doing this.

The key for your success is to pick subreddits that best fit your niche and are still popular and active enough to provide a regular feed of trending content. Use these tricks to find the most relevant subreddits.

Featured tool: Use your inbox to monitor trending comments with these IFTTT recipes to automate the sending of relevant Reddit updates to your email. For example, this recipe emails new hot stories from your favorite subreddits:

IFTTT-recipes

Look at Twitter and Facebook

Both Twitter and Facebook have their own trending topics section. For Twitter, it could be a hashtag, a keyword, a recent event, or a specific post on its site. Twitter Trends are personalized and localized for you. Facebook’s trending section highlights the most commented or shared news stories from around the world.

While these only give a glimpse of what is popular on that specific network, they are a good indication of wider interest. Given that these two platforms are the most popular social communities, if the topic is trending there, it is almost certainly ripe for writing.

Featured tool: DrumUp crawls Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, finds the most shared content based on your keyword settings, and creates a handy feed for you to read and post to your social media streams for higher engagement.

DrumUp

Optionally, DrumUp sends a daily email with trending content for you to quickly see if there’s anything worthy of coverage on your site.

DrumUp-recommended-posts

Overall, I find this tool valuable for monitoring trending content around my topics of expertise. It’s also a great productivity tool too, thanks to its free digest feature.

Look at sites using clickbait headlines

Clickbait headlines are a bit of a mixed subject among marketers. On one hand, they have come to be synonymous with dishonesty and can annoy the reader. On the other, when done right, they are incredibly effective and can lead to serious jumps in traffic and visibility … not to mention ad revenue, a significant benefit for most websites.

To see examples of it being done correctly, you only have to look at sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy. Both use headlines that draw people to click on their content, but they mostly deliver on what they promised in those headlines.

Use these more reputable sites for inspiration. Not only can you get ideas on how to word your blog posts and promote them on social media for the greatest impact, but you can find out what is bringing the most viewers at any moment.

Featured tool: Obviously I have no time to check and read those sites on a regular basis, so I just created an aggregated feed for those I found most useful and educational for me as a content marketer. To create an aggregated feed, use WordPress RSS aggregator to easily combine all your feeds into one.

WordPress-RSS-aggregator

The aggregated feed is hosted on your site and can be added to an RSS reader of your preference or you can even email the feed items to yourself using tools like FeedMyInbox.

If you don’t feel like checking these feeds regularly or seeing updates in your email, you can archive your aggregated feed using Cyfe.

Cyfe

Cyfe fetches your feed daily and archives old clickbait titles: This way you create a searchable archive of catchy headlines that evolve around your niche.

Bonus: Find related topics to any trend

Let’s say you come across a trend that you feel like covering on your site. How do you turn it into a good in-depth article quickly? (Posting on a hot topic needs to be fast while it still trends). My way is to identify related topics and pack them into one article.

For yearly popular trends I use Google Trends. The only downside is that Google Trends identifies trends more slowly than Facebook and Twitter but it is great for covering more sustainable trends:

Google-Trends

Click to enlarge

Google Trends also lets you search by category and country, seeing what is hot right now. You can see how those trends have grown and ebbed over time, compare different searches, see trending news stories, look at top charts, and subscribe to certain topics to get updates via email.

For more recent trends, I use Hashtagify to quickly identify and research related topics:

Hashtagify

What tips for identifying trending content topics do you have? Let me know in the comments.

Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).

Want to keep up on the trends in content marketing? Subscribe to our daily or weekly CMI blog.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, founder of MyBlogU.com and co-founder of Viral Content Buzz . Ann is the regular contributor at Entrepreneur, Small Biz Trends, and other huge publications. Ann blogs about search and social media industry trends and content marketing tools. Please follow Ann on Twitter @seosmarty.

Other posts by Ann Smarty

  • Nicole Larkin

    Thanks for this great roundup! I would add Think with Google. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/

    Google is such a big player, no one can afford to ignore it. What they publish here isn’t necessarily evanescent, but it is definitely timely.

    • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

      Good one! thanks for adding!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/kmadhav Sourabh Rana

    Hi Ann, just few days ago I was searching a tool who can monitor my online mentions about my brand & did a lot of research for this. Thanks for this good post Ann….

    • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

      You are welcome! I hope it helps!

  • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

    Sure! Very well deserved!

  • Emma James

    Ann, you are doing great job! I always read your posts and find them great, thanks!

    • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

      Awww, thanks for the kind words!

  • http://s56.com.au/ Peter Thomas

    Oh wow, I have so much to learn still 😀 Haven’t used IFTTT before, it’s time.

    • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

      It’s multi-purpose! You are sure to find something right for you there!

  • http://largerlist.com/ Leo LaVito ★ LargerList.com

    Great post, Ann! Thanks for the list of useful tools here for finding trending content. :)

    “What tips for identifying trending content topics do you have?”

    Other than the tips listed above, here are a few from my box:

    1) There’s a website called Help A Reporter Out (HARO), that reporters use to find sources for new stories. You can use this website to receive source requests, and by going through daily requests, identify hot news that’s about to break out.

    2) Other than Facebook, Google Plus also has a What’s Hot section where you can see what’s currently trending.

    3) Looking at the trending discussions on Quora and various forums can also help you see the general direction that discussions are going.

    Sincerely,
    Leonardo LaVito
    (The Last List Building Legend)